Christian Book Previews Home
Christian Book Previews
Book Jacket

Spiral
352 pages
Jun 2005
Herald Press

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt

Review:

Please don’t race to the kitchen with this cookbook. First, sit down and enjoy reading Simply in Season. Within its pages you will find philosophy, an ingrained dependence on God, wonderful ideas, a challenging new way of considering food, and, of course, a lot of tasty, tempting recipes which will feed the body and spirit with nutritious food.

How can one cookbook do all this? Begin with the preface which introduces this as a community (meaning both local and world-wide) cookbook, looking at both cooking and the complexities involved in getting our food. A section about the basics of storing fresh foods, from apples through to winter squash, with a special page for herbs comes next. Only then do we meet the recipes, classified by the four seasons and the foods pertaining to those seasons. Each recipe has a bit of extra wisdom. Under Maple Walnut Scones you meet a discussion about the philosophy of early spring maple sugar making. Accompanying Curried Beans and Potatoes you read about the Gunthorps and their happy, naturally raised hogs, ducks, and chickens. Vegetarian Groundnut Stew brings you a short quote about the joys of eating according to the seasons; and Sunflower Chip Cookies introduces the thought: eating is a moral act.

Your imagination and appetite will be piqued with fresh herbs and spices, seasonal vegetables and fruits, international ways of cooking. Wide assortments of grains and dairy products are introduced. Foods such as tofu, tempeh, venison, seitan, and bulgur all have delicious, very workable recipes. There are hints for equivalents and substitutes, ideas for becoming an active participant in furthering the fresh food movement, and suggestions for further reading.

The authors bring us these recipes from wide backgrounds. Both women are Mennonites, a group well-knows for its wonderful philosophy about food. Registered dietician, nutritional consultant, and market gardener Mary Beth Lind feels that food is a part of her spirituality, her kitchen and garden are places to feel God’s presence and enter into prayer. Magazine editor, cookbook author, and avid farmers’ market shopper Cathleen Hockman-Wert believes our lifestyle choices have a deep effect on God’s creation and other people.

Simple to understand and make, the recipes are delicious, and nutritious, turning a meal into a welcome event. I found Nova Scotia Hodgepodge, traditionally made from the thinning of vegetables early in the season, redolent and tasty with early onions, green beans, potatoes, carrots, peas, and a generous sprinkling of fresh herbs. The suggestion under Blueberry Coffee Cake is, “try it warm with milk poured on top.” I can vouch for it--that’s a delicious, satisfying way to enjoy this cake. From the Middle East comes Turkey Lentil Pilaf, savory with mint, cinnamon, and garlic, wrapped up in brown rice and garnished with feta cheese and tomato. It really does hit the spot on a cold evening. Make the dinner international and accompany the turkey lentil dish with Taco Soup, a combination of venison, tomato juice, corn, beans and chili powder served over corn chips and garnished with sour cream.

Simply in Season truly is a book to enjoy, learn from, use, and cherish. The recipes and ideas are understandable to capable cooks, children and adults just beginning to cook, and those of us who feel dunces when it comes to cooking. Read it, absorb it, and cook from it - have fun with Simply in Season. – Donna Eggett, Christian Book Previews.com

Book Jacket:

Not so long ago most fresh food on North American tables came from home gardens and local farmers markets. Today, the average item of food travels more than a thousand miles before it lands on our tables. It’s a remarkable technological accomplishment, but has not proven to be healthy for our communities, our land or us.

Through stories and simple "whole foods" recipes, Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert explore how the food we put on our tables impacts our local and global neighbors. They show the importance of eating local, seasonal food—and fairly traded food—and invite readers to make choices that offer security and health for our communities, for the land, for body and spirit.

Simply in Season offers a starting point encouraging you to feed both your body and spirit with nutritious food and challenging ideas about the world around you. Woven throughout the recipe pages of each season are writings, tidbits of information to reflect upon while the onions saute, the soup boils, or the bread bakes.